Originally called Husk, this year they chose to make the always confusing change of their nom de plume. With their new direction, they felt it was time to set fire to the old building and then rise from the ashes.
Thankfully, we were given a bit of time and here's what happened.
Glacially Musical: Thank you for taking sometime for me today.
Sail: No worries. Thanks for letting me blither in your general direction!
GM: Let's just get it out of the way and tell me about the name change from Husk to Sail.
SA: The dynamics of the band and our overall feel was shifting; we were writing more songs together, we were working more closely as a unit.
The name Husk had been our moniker since we really decided to 'have a go' at being a band, but as we progressed and came together it became apparent that the name no longer worked for us. We spent a couple of months throwing all sorts of names back and forth until eventually we went out to get some coffee and said "we're not leaving this cafe until we have a name".
Turns out it worked and we settled on Sail. Adding to that - Husk is a popular band name which we didn't realise when settling on it all those years ago. There's a number of American Husks, a New Zealand Husk, a Husk even in Birmingham (in global terms, that's 'just up the road' from where we're based) - it seemed sensible to consider this going forward.
GM: Sail doesn't appear to merely tick off boxes, which is a problem in today's modern world. How hard do you find it trying to stick out?
SA: We write the kind of music that we want to listen to.
This has always been a factor in this unit, and collectively our inspirations span from Lorde to SunnO))) so the end result can be a little quirky and strange at times, which sits well with us. We hope that our odd infleunces and individual characters would help distinguish us from the rest!
GM: How do you describe the music you make to others?
SA: I normally lead with a big shrug and say "I dunno, it's loud and odd" and implore people to listen to it.
Not entirely useful, but we write some weird shit. It's dynamic, it's progressive, it's hooky and it's (sometimes!) deep. We're big and loud and heavy with spacey twinkly bits.
GM: What's the last album you purchased, either physical or digital?
SA: Primitive and Deadly by Earth, which is a masterpiece. (I was late off the mark with that one).
Went to see Earth a few months back and they blew me away, easily one of the strongest vibes I've ever gotten from a live band.
GM: How did you decide it was time to totally change the direction of the band?
SA: It wasn't so much as a decision; rather that it just kinda happened! Some time ago there was a very obvious feeling of "we need some new songs guys" and the more we wrote the more we realised we had a different style than before.
So we went with it, and I feel that we're all the better for it.
GM: What kind of touring plans do you have lined up for this record?
SA: As many shows as possible whenever / wherever possible. We're making plans for a short run in the southwest of England around the date of the album's release - it's not always easy for us to commit to dates.
We live in the arse end of nowhere and all work whack shifts at our day jobs.
But we're aiming for a short run immediately post-album and then hopefully get further afield during the summer months and be loud in front of some new faces.
GM: Can you take a track off the record and tell me what it's about?
SA: The track Old Tom had a working title of "Mr Sunshine", named after a crappy toy we won at an arcade in the M42 motorway services on our way to a show.
The lyrics initially began telling a story of his undoing, but ended up being something completely different. Just wrote some words and suddenly we had a song.
The title is the name of an Australian orca that used to assist whalers by rounding up baleen whales, and in exchange the whalers would feed Old Tom and his pod the tongues and lips of their haul.
A mad little bit of history. So I'm not really sure what Old Tom is about, but that's what's going on with it!
GM: What are the five most important albums of all time?
SA: Forever a difficult question! There's so many that apply in many different situations. From an entirely subjective view, here's five album I'd quote as important to me:
Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous
Queen - A Night At The Opera
John Williams - Jurassic Park OST
Whitesnake - Forevermore
Mastodon - Crack The Skye
GM: What didn't I ask that we all should know?
SA: Vegetable rights and peace!
Sail's upcoming record, Slumbersong, is released on 3/10/17 by Hibernacula Records.